After more than two years of work, my book is almost here. We’re on the final round of edits, then it goes to the typesetter, and finally, to the printer. We’ve got a tentative release date of June 15.
This book is intended to offer everyone the benefit of my twenty years of experience in simple, plain language. I am reminded almost on a daily basis of how little people know about auto insurance, and about their rights following a motor vehicle accident. You can be sure the insurance companies aren’t telling you your rights.
If you read this book before you are injured in an accident, you will know how to optimize your insurance coverage, what to do and not to do at the scene of the accident, and much more. But even if you’ve already been in an accident, this book will provide you with valuable information about the claims process that will put you in a better position to protect your family and maximize the value of your claim.
The book is available now for pre-order on Amazon. Below, you can read my introduction. If you have more questions, check out our website, or give me a call. We’d love to hear from you.
Protecting Your Family
If you were recently injured in an accident, you’ve probably already made one or more mistakes that could fatally harm your claim. Did you say the wrong thing at the scene of the accident? Did you fail to get the contact information for witnesses? Did you fail to get photos of the accident scene and the damages? Did you speak to the insurance company? Did you sign any documents? The fact is most people have no idea what to do after an accident. You don’t know what your rights are or how to protect them. The insurance companies won’t tell you what your rights are. To the contrary, they will make every effort to persuade you to give up your rights in exchange for a quick and cheap settlement. You are up against an industry whose primary objective is to pay you less than your claim is worth, or to pay you nothing at all if it can get away with it. Insurance companies have been doing this for a long time, and they are very good at it.
Are you overwhelmed by your injuries, medical appointments, and the demands of the insurance companies? Are you worried that you might be saying too much? Do you wonder whether you should have signed that form you just placed in the mail? Are you concerned that your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company might be taking advantage of you? Have you considered that you might not make a full recovery? Will you be able to provide for your family? Do you just want to return your life to the way it was before your accident?
I know exactly what you are going through. I’ve been there myself. I know what it’s like to lay awake at night, unable to find a comfortable position and worrying how the bills will be paid. I know what it’s like to have pain shooting down your leg and wondering whether it will ever go away. I know what it’s like to have to show up for work despite the pain, and then to fill every free moment with doctor appointments, physical therapy, and home exercises. I know how the injury can affect not just you, but your whole family. The burden of an injury can be overwhelming, and the uncertainty of your recovery can be terrifying. It’s okay to feel that way. I know how to get through it, and I want to help you.
In this book, you will learn all about personal injury claims, from before the accident happens until the end of the trial (if trial becomes necessary). You will learn all about auto insurance coverage, and you will be given concrete steps you can take right now to protect your family in the event of an accident. You will learn about what happens at the scene of an accident, including the steps you must always take to optimize your claim and the things you should never do. In this book, you will learn how to decide whether you need a lawyer and how to choose the right lawyer for yourself and your family. You will learn about your rights and what you should expect after you hire a lawyer. You will learn simple steps you can take to increase the payment you receive for your damaged or totaled vehicle. You will learn about the dangers of social media and how to avoid sabotaging your claim on Facebook. You will learn about a variety of options available to make sure you get all of the medical treatment you need and that your bills get paid.
Sometimes, a claim can be settled, but sometimes, a lawsuit has to be filed to get you a fair recovery. In this book, you will learn about alternatives to trial, such as mediation and arbitration, and you will understand the factors that determine when it is best to settle and when it is best to file a lawsuit. You will learn about what happens after a lawsuit is filed, including the discovery period when each side gets to learn what the other knows. You will learn what happens at a real trial and how it is different from what you’ve seen on TV. Finally, you will learn how you get your money at the conclusion of the case, and what happens after your claim is closed.
This book contains true stories. Some are about me, but some are about my clients. Where I am describing clients’ experiences, I have changed the names and some facts to preserve confidentiality, but the essence of the stories remains very real, and the stories have many essential lessons to teach us.
This book can be read from front to back, but it can also be used as a reference again and again. If you have a question about how to get your medical bills paid, you can go straight to that chapter. If you need help finding the right lawyer, go right to that section. Throughout the book, I have inserted questions and blank lines. I encourage you to use these spaces to help you clarify what is important to you and what specific steps you can take to protect yourself and your family in the event of an accident.
As I’ve stated above, I know what you are going through because I’ve been there myself. In 2002, I was injured in a rear-end car accident, and I went through over three years of treatment. I had an orthopedist who was ready to perform surgery on my lower back, but I opted for a more conservative course of treatment, and I eventually recovered. This experience certainly gives me empathy and understanding for what my clients are going through, but empathy alone will not get you through this process; you also need to know the ins and outs of the legal system. I received a B.A. in history from Yale University in 1990. After graduation, I worked for two years in a large litigation firm in New York City. At that job, I began to understand the intricacies of preparing a case for trial. I attended law school at the University of Washington where I obtained my J.D. in 1995. I was admitted to the bar that summer, and I’ve been representing injured people ever since. In the years since then, I’ve argued hundreds of cases and obtained recoveries for thousands of families. I have earned the highest possible ratings from several professional associations for both legal ability and ethical standards, and I have been named a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and by the American Society of Legal Advocates. But more important to me than any of these accolades are the hundreds of reviews and testimonials I’ve received from my clients. It is my professional mission to educate people on their rights following an accident, to protect injured people and their families, and to build lasting relationships with my clients. No matter the size of a case, if I can accomplish those goals, I feel my job has been done, and I go home from the office feeling good about myself and what I do.
I understand why you haven’t researched your rights or called a lawyer yet. You’re already dealing with an injury on top of your job and your family. Why add to the hassle by having to find a lawyer, or even worse, trying to be your own lawyer. You’re worried about the bad karma of making a claim against another person who probably just had a careless moment of inattention. You don’t have time. You don’t have any idea how to find the right lawyer. You might be worried about the cost of an attorney. Simply put, you are overwhelmed by the whole process, and you wish it would just go away. It’s okay to feel that way. It’s normal. Almost all of my clients have had one or more of these apprehensions. Together, we can address all of your concerns and give you more time and energy to get your life back to normal. I’ve got your back, and we can get through this together.
I want to be your advisor, your coach, your advocate, and your partner in this process. I want to create a protective bubble in which you can focus on recovering from your injuries and caring for your family. I want to be the shoulder you can rest your head on when you are overwhelmed by the whole process. I want to make sure your rights are protected and make sure you get what is owed to you. Let’s lock arms and together take on the insurance industry that is determined to deny you and your family what you deserve.
Are you ready to begin? Are you ready to let go of the burden and the uncertainty and to let me be your guide through this process? Are you ready to return your attention to your recovery, your family, and your work? Are you ready to take all of the steps necessary to make sure you get a full and fair recovery for your claim? If so, let’s begin this journey together.